Share your enthusiasm! Teaching Tools submission competition

For years we’ve been asking people how they define a great teacher. One trait that repeatedly comes up is “enthusiasm.” Nobody enthuses about plants better than plant scientists, so we’re offering you a chance to “share your enthusiasm”.

Have you got a passion for plant science? Do you have a favorite paper, experiment, topic, or method that you like to share with undergraduates? Have you found a clever way to engage students and stimulate their curiosity?

We are soliciting short pre-proposals for contributions to the Teaching Tools in Plant Biology feature of The Plant Cell. Tell us what you are excited about that you would like to develop into a Teaching Tools article. We will invite the authors of a selected few pre-proposals to submit complete articles for review. Upon acceptance they will be published as a Teaching Tools in Plant Biology feature in The Plant Cell and awarded a $500 stipend.

The three pre-proposal competition deadlines in 2015 are April 30th, August 31st and December 31st. You can find complete competition guidelines and the proposal submission form here. As Charlotte Bronte said, “True enthusiasm is a fine feeling whose flash I admire where-ever I see it,” so go ahead and share your enthusiasm!

UPDATE: The 2015 submission deadlines are closed – see winners here, here and here. Due to ongoing demand we’ve added another submission deadline for October 1, 2016. Feel free to discuss your ideas with Mary Williams ( before then!



6 thoughts on “Share your enthusiasm! Teaching Tools submission competition

  1. Hi Mary,
    This is an exciting opportunity! I definitely want to participate.However, I see
    there are three deadlines, does that mean there are three different competitions? Can you please elaborate.


  2. Hi Anjali,
    Great to hear that you’re interested in contributing.
    We plan to select the best pre-proposal from those submitted for each of the deadlines, so essentially the competition is being run three times. The reason for this is fist to accommodate the different schedules of our applicant pool. For example, some people may be far to busy between now and April to prepare a pre-proposal and so prefer the August deadline etc. Also, we will be advising the authors of the selected topics on the preparation of their Teaching Tool and we want to spread out our time commitment, as well as the release of the completed topics. Finally, if a pre-proposal is short-listed but doesn’t win, we will encourage the authors to resubmit for a later deadline. Thanks for asking, good luck!

  3. I received a question by email and I’ll answer it here.
    Q. Are submissions about more fundamental principles such as cell division and development also allowed?

    A. Yes, BUT… There are already many teaching resources for biologists, most of which mention plants as an afterthought (if at all). We are building a collection that features plants, so we would encourage a submission that describes PLANT cell division. (It would be OK to mention division in other cell types for the purpose of comparison). The Teaching Tools on Small RNAs and Epigenetics illustrate this idea – they introduce a fundamental principle but the examples are drawn from plant biology.
    Thanks for the question – feel free to ask more by email or on this blog.

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